Ex-boyfriend living in attic

A US mother has discovered her ex-boyfriend living in the attic of her home 12 years after they broke

The 44-year-old mother-of-five from North Carolina, who gave her first name as Tracy, heard something moving about in her attic and noticed nails in the ceiling above her bed started popping out.

She sent her elder sons and nephew upstairs to check on the noise, thinking it may be a wild animal.

What they found was her ex-boyfriend.

"He had packed all the old coats and jackets into the heating unit and was sleeping in the heating unit," Tracy said.

Her nephew also noticed the man had been able to spy on Tracy through an air vent.

The man, who Tracy did not want to identify because she remains afraid while he is on the loose, ran downstairs and out of the house before police arrived. Investigators are still looking for him.

After officers investigated, they discovered the man had been sneaking in and out of her house and found cups of human waste left in the attic.

Tracy had returned home from a stint in prison two weeks earlier and said the man had been writing to her while she was in jail.

She said she last saw him 12 months ago ago when he did some odd jobs for her at home but insisted she broke up with him for good 12 years ago because of his drug addiction and robbery charges.

Tracy and her children are now afraid to sleep in their own beds because the the attic can only be accessed from inside the home, through the corridor that connects the children's bedrooms.